Texas Book Fest Q&A with Alexander McCall Smith

Alexander McCall Smith is the author of To the Land of Long Lost Friends.

TBF: Why did you write your new book? What was your inspiration? Where did the idea start?

Alexander McCall Smith: My new book, To the Land of Long Lost Friends, is the 20th book in The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. I wrote it because there is nothing I like more than to sit down and imagine myself talking to Mma Ramotswe and her friends in Botswana. The result of that conversation is this book.

TBF: What’s the last book you read, loved, and can’t stop recommending? Why is it so good?

AMS: I have very much enjoyed Don Paterson’s Reading Shakespeare’s Sonnets. This is a wonderful, witty commentary on the Sonnets and I have given it to various friends. I much enjoy giving friends copies of books that I have particularly liked.

TBF: What’s the first book you remember reading? Who gave it to you?

AMS: As a small boy I was given by my parents a book called Ginger’s Adventures. It is the story of a dog that makes a break for freedom. I loved it and I think I could recite it word for word. There is a certain sadness to it – and I remember feeling that as a child – but the ending was a happy one. Sadness followed by happiness is a great theme in literature, and rather better than that of happiness followed by sadness!

Alexander McCall Smith is one of 300 authors who will appear at the 2019 Texas Book Festival which takes place October 26-27th 2019 in downtown Austin. The Festival is free and open to the public! Check out all of this year’s authors.